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international drawing annual 9 exhibition-in-print
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Catarina Coelho
Arlington, Massachusetts

Massachusetts College of Art and Design, Boston, Adjunct Faculty

detail image


My recent drawings and collages are cartographic representations of my interaction with the landscape. The subject of landscape allows me to interrogate a vast and rich field, full of an extraordinary range of elements and events. In my work I focus on the physical and symbolic connection I establish with the landscape and with the geographical space, and I use the medium of drawing and printmaking not only to understand the relationship between a particular place and me, but also to develop and transform it. I trace the ecstatic movement of the drapery of ancient marbles, or describe the dynamic marks shaped by the wind erosion on the land surface. I represent the morphology of a wreck abandoned in a field or the scar in the landscape left by an explosion; many of my collages explore fractured geographies and propose new borders within the composition.

In my drawings I explore subtle lines or verve and dramatic marks, and I often combine dense textures and luminous colors. I use charcoal, ink, wax and oil crayons on fragile supports such as paper, card and thin boards. When I'm experimenting with paper as the work itself rather than as a ground, as in my collages and paper installations, I sometimes only use the knife and scissor.

In previous work, I have been reflecting on architectural space and how it affected the landscape, formally and symbolically. I lived and study in Italy for a while and my resources for this project were my travel memories of seminal cities such as Rome, Pompeii, and Herculaneum. When I was drawing Rome, I omitted parts of the architectural icons of the city and sometimes erased an entire building. I opened a void in the landscape and the white silhouettes that come forth in the drawings are the ghost image of several cultural icons that belong to my cultural past.  

The act of erasure and of omitting plays an important role in my work. I have thought of it as an iconoclastic act, but not in a religious sense. The act of erasing is related to my necessity of rupturing with the past in order to find a new paradigm. However, I'm never totally disconnected from my cultural past, so I oscillate between these two poles, rejection and preservation. In my work, I'm interested in exploring that tension within the image: I try to activate both draw space and empty space so they can move in a dialectical field of image rejection and image evocation.


born: 1978, Lisbon, Portugal


Massachusetts College of Art and Design, Boston, MFA-Printmaking, 2013
Faculty of Letters of the University of Lisbon, Portugal, MA-Philosophy of Art, 2010
Faculty of Fine Arts of the University of Lisbon, Portugal, Licenciate, 2004

selected awards/honors

Young Artists Prize in Drawing, Portuguese Club of Arts and Ideas (Clube Português de Artes e Ideias), Portugal, 2009
Young Writers Prize in short story, Portuguese Club of Arts and Ideas (Clube Português de Artes e Ideias), Portugal, 2009
Awarded an Erasmus Scholarship to study at the Academy of Fine Arts of Brera, Milan, Italy, 2002

selected publications

MFA Thesis Catalog, Massachusetts College of Art and Design, p. 12-13, p.30-31, 2013
"Aby M. Warburg: contribution for a contemporary debate" in: Estudos sobre Aby M. Warburg (Studies on Aby M. Warburg), published by the Catholic University of Portugal, p. 92-104, 2011
Young Artists Prize, published by Portuguese Club of Arts and Ideas (Clube Português de Artes e Ideias), Portugal, p.24-25, 2009
Young Writers Prize, publish by Portuguese Club of Arts and Ideas (Clube Português de Artes e Ideias), Portugal, p. 25-42, 2009

selected solo or two-person exhibits

Traduttore, traditore! - Drawing and Installation Video. A collaboration project with Tiago Lança, Fábrica Braço de Prata Cultural Center, Lisbon, Portugal, 2011
Untitled Paintings, Trema Gallery, Lisbon, Portugal, 2006  
5 Ways of Escaping (Paintings), Trema Gallery, Lisbon, Portugal, 2005
Drawing and Sculpture, Trema Gallery, Lisbon, Portugal, 2004

selected group shows

25th MassArt Annual Benefit Art Auction, Bakalar and Paine Gallery, Boston, Massachusetts, 2014  
Off Hours, MassArt College, President's Gallery, Boston, Massachusetts, 2014
Boston Young Contemporaries, 8th Annual Juried Exhibition, 808 Gallery, Boston, Massachusetts, 2013
MFA Thesis Show, Bakalar and Paine Gallery, Massachusetts College of Art and Design, Boston, Massachusetts, 2013

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